Mirage started life as a yellow 1200cc VW bug that had been well looked after by it’s previous owner and was spotted by Ian Paige. It was 1989 and Ian wanted to create a car that had the California feel to it, surf and sunshine, plus a few body mods to make it stand out from the pastel cal-lookers at the VW Shows of the early 1990’s!
The little yellow bug was shipped to the small Holdesden workshops of Thump! Thump! for some body mods. The roof section was marked out and carefully cut ready to carry out the targa conversion. The rear window vents were cut out and fresh metal was then welded in to place. Then cars name ‘Mirage’ was then carefully hand cut in to the metal where the rear window vents once were. Thump! Thump! also added some chassis rails to keep the rigidity of the car.To create a totally smooth look the door handles were binned along with the wing mirrors and side trim. Solenoid doors were fitted and half moon vents behind the side windows were welded up to complete the look.
This was how it left the Holdesden workshops and was shipped to the Vee Dub body shop in Cheshire, who stripped the yellow bug of it’s paint and layed on the superb riviera blue paint work.The 1200cc engine was fully detailed and the interior features a smooth dash with a colour coded speedo, Thump! Thump! Storm steering wheel, hidden stereo and a sew fine interior from the US. The rear window features a painted beach scene and a picture of the car. This has been painted on to the inside of the glass and makes Mirage stand out from the crowd!
Mirage made its debut in the Show and Shine at Bug Jam 1992 and went on to be displayed for several years at all of the major shows up until about 1997 when it was put in to dry storage. Here it stayed for about five years until Ian decided it was time to pass the car on to a new owner.
Jay Davey bought the car from Ian in 2004 and a fresh MOT saw the car back on the road for the first time in many years. Shortly after the car made its reappearance in the show scene, where it collected ‘Best Nostalgia’ car at Bug Jam 2004 and also ‘Raddest Nostalgia Car’ at VW Action. Not bad considering it had been sat in storage for so many years! He took the car off the road in November 2004 to make some changes and to put his own stamp on the car. During the winter months the car was stripped down and received a complete custom interior with floating seat frames along with a set of fully polished Porsche Fuchs wheels. Not wanting to stop there Jay turned his attention to the outside of the car again.
The Paintbox were called upon to make some custom targa bumpers and also relocate the rear lights in to the bumper. A set of Porsche head light lenses were fitted with some rear pop-out windows to add the finishing touch to the car. It received an updated rear window painting done by Jay himself and now features another Beach scene with a californian feel to it.
Mirage was finished just in time for the next years summer show season and picked up a couple of trophies, a full feature in ULTRA VW Magazine and featured on ITV car programme along the way.
Mirage is still on the road and still looks like it has just come out of the workshop. Now located in London keep an eye out for it at the many VW shows . . .